The Vine and the Branches
By general definition, a vine is an herbaceous or nonwoody plant with thin stems that uses neighboring plants, rocks, trees, fences or other structures for physical support. These plants climb, creep and sprawl, often spreading out horizontally, as well as mounting vertically.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Abide in me as I in you” (John 15:4-5).
Without the branches, a vine cannot exist. Likewise, without us, Jesus cannot be known. We are the "indivisible reality of God's love," as Cynthia Bourgeault says...we live together in "mutual, loving reciprocity." The relationship between vine and branches reflects beautifully our relationship with the Divine...a mutual flow of love and support
"The whole and the part living together in mutual, loving reciprocity, each belonging to the other and dependent on the other to show forth the fullness of love. That’s Jesus’ vision of no separation between human and Divine."
Where are we called to be the physical support for the vine of Divine Love? As Frederick Buechner says, it is where our deep gladness and the world's greatest needs intersect.